What is my pain and suffering worth from my car wreck?
Pain and suffering is the damage component that ends up disputed most often. For smaller accidents many times insurance companies are not disputing the Emergency Room bill or associated bills (Physician billing, Radiological Services billing & the like) but, pain and suffering is often at the buttress of if there will be an agreement as to the pain and suffering.
Methods used or methods some people think are used for pain and suffering
The 3x multiplier Rule- I am sure every person has heard a form or variation of this. I was in a wreck they are going to pay me three times my meds. Then I will respond with that is not how this is done. Then generally I hear well it used to be that way. No it was not ever that way, lets think about it.
If you break your arm and have to have surgery, then it gets better back to normal and the same facts but this time you have your arm amputated and in both accidents the medical bills were exactly the same. Losing your arm and getting the same amount of money as the broken arm is just unjust and unfair.
How do you choose the multiplier?
The multiplier that is used is a judgment that is made after considering all of the evidence in the case. These are some of the factors that affect the multiplier:
- Whether there are any aggravating circumstances in the accident, such as drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. If there are aggravating circumstances, use a higher multiplier.
- The seriousness of your injuries.
- How long your recovery took.
- Whether you recovered completely. If your injuries will have permanent effects (scarring, partial disability or physical limitations), use a higher multiplier.
Finally, before deciding on the most reasonable multiplier to use to calculate your accident you need to figure out what is fair and the multiplier now is a variable that is controlled by factors. More on this later but if you need help with your accident call Betz and Baril our team is ready and willing to help.
Allstate created this software back around 2000 to fight paying out as much money on claims and the software took into account many factors like:
- type of injuries
- location of accident
- gaps in treatment
- Who your lawyer is?
- if you have an attorney
- lost wages
- impairment rating
During this time Allstate was creating the story that no one in the insurance industry,that no one in the insurance industry wants people to know. From Good Hands To Boxing Gloves paved the way for the new way insurance companies were doing business.
The Author David Berardinelli is the trial lawyer who
diligently worked to become the first to obtain the "McKinsey Documents" unprotected. He
discusses how these documents teach insurers to profit by denying policyholders "good hands" to
treat them with "boxing gloves." Learn how Allstate has earned the highest profits in insurance
company history during the years with our country's largest natural disasters.
The "Per Diem" Method
Another way to determine accident settlement value is to value your pain and suffering by giving it a "per diem" (per day) value and adding that value to your "special damages." Let's use the same example. You had medical out-of-pocket expenses of $7,500 and lost income of 3,000, or specials totaling $10,500.
Assume further that you received treatment for a neck injury for three months and that, even after you completed your treatment, you continued to have pain and stiffness in your neck for another two months. After that, you were fine.
Using the per diem method for calculating accident settlement value, you assign an amount to each day (or week or month) that you suffered from your injuries. I always suggest daily because the number is so much small and appears reasonable with slightly higher numbers.
In court, the multiplier approach and Colossus are not formally recognized. You can't stand in front of a judge or jury and tell them you want three times, four times or eight times your special damages. At least judges and juries are not supposed to calculate damages that way.
Instead, they are supposed to award the amount that they decide is reasonable, fair and adequate for each component of damages -- medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. Therefore, you can use this system to explain to a judge or jury what you claim and why you claim it.
The Totality of the Circumstances Calculation
This is the best way to come up with a number that will be close to what a jury would pay. Take every factor give it weight and then come up with a number. Factors include but are not limited to:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- pre-existing conditions
- who treated the client
- sometimes subrogation
- and many more factors
In the end we are predicting or trying to predict what a jury will pay a Plaintiff and sometimes they surprise the lawyers too. Call Betz and Baril and let the winning begin.